It is weird, because I have never had a manager before who spoke with me on a daily basis about what I was doing at work. At first it seems intrusive, but really, this is the way it should be. Especially for a new employee, it is good to have somebody providing direction. And, for the first time, I have a job where communicating what I am doing is simply a part of routine.
Hopefully this new adventure will turn out to have an even better pay-off than I had reasonably imagined.
Oh, and I have DSL at home now. And off-line e-mail on the laptop, so I can catch up whilst riding the bus. I bought a desk and a very good chair the other day, with adjustable back height and almost-high-enough lumbar support. I have to assemble the desk though, which I’ll do after work this evening before some heavy network maintenance tonight.
Things are coming together. And Yayoi can probably make it right after Christmas, which is good.
I drove down to Mountain View to lunch with Brian this weekend. He mentioned that Amazon.com has Free Sidekick IIs these days. I checked it out this morning, and after some discussion, found that I can not get this through work because we already have a bunch of cell phones under contract with Verizon.
So, I e-mailed my predecessor, who has to return his old phone yet anyway, asking if maybe he wouldn’t mind taking his contract with him? He writes back that his new employer just gave him his new Sidekick II and it is sweet, so, no thanks. I’ll have his old phone, which is nicer than the loaner I’m on right now, pretty darn soon.
I could potentially get one for Yayoi, and then trade phones with her. But then it is her turn to have the awesomer cell phone anyway, so … hey, free Christmas present for someone not wedded to Verizon! :)
My fancy new Dell laptop and FreeBSD are a bit of an odd couple. I haven’t tried yet, but apparently I could get the trackpad, nub and mouse keys working through something called “Project Evil” that supports Windows drivers under FreeBSD. Entering suspend mode causes the computer to reboot, this in part because apparently Dell has messed up their implementation of standards-compliant power management, but whatever. (more…)
So, Walnut Creek and San Ramon are in the valley between mountains. It is tricky to tune in San Francisco’s public radio station — I can usually get a better signal from Sacramento, which is scary. Anyway, I had to drive to work today and on the ride back, I found that KPFA, just over the hill in Berkeley, has a plenty good signal for me to tune in to. Pacifica makes NPR sound like Fox, but this evening they were talking the history of United States relations with Iran.
Beats the crappy jazz coming out of Sacramento after about 8pm. KPFA insted switches to Greatful Dead covers on Wednesday nights. What this may lack in quality is made up for by its eclecticism. I hope the morning show helps me come around to consciousness tomorrow morning. They ought to have more edge in the voice than Bob Edwards or whomever is calling out the NPR News now that I haven’t been paying too much attention anymore.
Interesting, Costco and Shell are more Democrats than not.
I think this might actually, to a degree, encourage people to shop at stores where the employees have more money and time to devote to politics. At least, if you can assume that wealthy doners trend Republican while working class donors trend Democrat. Well, that is a stretch, sure . . . but I would like to think that progressive employment policies help you trend blue.
I have just booked two one-way tickets to San Jose, for the Sunday after Christmas. This year, for Christmas, I get to bring my bride to California with me.
I may be on the car rental thing another month or two as Uncle John may wish to hang on to my wheels for a February road trip to New Mexico. Not a bad deal. The cost of shipping the car is comparable to renting a car for six weeks. And it would be neat to show him California. He could possibly even transport my bike, which saves the hassle of carrying it on the airplane.
Well, my spirits are definitely up. As I just sang to my coworker, “All I want for Christmas is my … Ya yo i!”
The hummus I made myself — chickpeas, a.k.a. “Garbanzo Beans” and olive oil, combined with a potato masher. Bland, but probably healthy, and a lot cheaper than eating out, which I have done a lot lately.
I have to cancel Yayoi’s plane ticket. Due to school schedule complications, she can not come out with me after Christmas.
Responding to complaints from vigilant, God-fearing Christians, praise God, the Federal Public Broadcasting Morality Police (FCC) have requested a tape from NBC of the Opening Ceremonies of the pre-Christian ritual known as the “Olympic Games,” which were this year hosted by Greece.
The opening ceremony, as staged in Athens, this year, featured a long parade of actors portraying Pagan Gods, choreographed to modern “interpretive” dance. Some of these actors, clad in bikinis and grey body paint, sported prosthetic genitalia. The Federal Public Broadcasting Morality Police will review the tape to ensure that the most degenerate segments of this heathen performance did not profane the airwaves of the United States of America, God help us.
If such images may have been broadcast in Cristendom, during a broadcast popular among broad-minded Christian families who seek to expose their youth to barbarian cultures, they pose a serious risk to our Christian Republic of spreading sexual degeneracy and moral turpitude, as well as the sin of homosexuality, among our youth.
Vigilance has been raised since the atrocity breached during the last Super Bowl, in which a woman’s teat was exposed to our youth for nearly two seconds during a sports event. President George Bush has recently been re-elected by the Right-Thinking Christian American people, not only because of his ongoing, successful crusade to bring Christian democracy to Arabia, but based on his solemn pledge to protect the fundamentantal Chstian values of our land from those the likes of Kerry the Papist. All Praise to Jesus!
When I am elected Dictator, there will be a three-day work week! The weekend will be two days, and one day for the Sabbath. The beauty of this is that you can alternate everyone’s schedule so that you always have someone at work.
Yes, if you do the math, the week will come out to six days. We can have twelve months, but they will be thirty days apiece, or five weeks. At the end of the year there will be a five-day Holiday, that will be six days on leap years.
Also, daylight savings time will be abolished, as will time zones. Everyone will use GMT, and know what the offset for true noon is in their locality. When people have to make arrangements, they will not have to do any calculations, because time will be the same everywhere. And the first thing you’ll be told upon arriving in town is what time they normally eat lunch. After all, there is really no more important human activity than eating lunch.
In times of austerity, when we need more productivity, we can extend working days to four or even five, as long as we observe a Sabbath day. And the pious types will be happy because one day in six will be for God, which is more than one day in seven.
Anyway, I return now to the incumbent paradigm, which has me working!
I have seen four movies in the past two weekends. The modus operandi has been to pay for one full-price admission at the Walnut Creek megaplex, and then sneak in to a second movie. Each week I have seen a very good movie and a not so good movie. (more…)
Two years ago, I spent Christmas in the South of Thailand, but not on the coast. I heard Phuket, on the Indian Ocean, got hit hard. I had stayed several days mid-December, 2002 at a place in Kata, which was very nice. I was curious if I could get any news of Kata. Well, the Seattle Times has a dispatch from a tourist. The destruction in Thailand’s tourist areas has been severe:
Tonight I went to Patong again. It’s the largest beach and shopping area and where the largest group of tourists are. It’s about a mile long and four blocks deep and full of big stores and small shops. Big hotels. The Sheraton and everything — and I mean everything — is destroyed.
The author is visiting ex-pats in the local hospitals. Thailand’s public health system is not the greatest, and being in a foreign country in bad times just adds to the stress. And there is plenty of tragedy to go around:
The first room we went in was a young Swedish man with a major cut all the way down his leg. His Thai wife was sitting next to him with a large bandage on her chin. We asked him how he was doing, and he said that this was nothing because they had lost their 3-month-old daughter. Just washed away. The woman just started crying uncontrollably. It was heart wrenching. We gave them a hug, and they were very appreciative that we came by.
Read the article. Thailand, America, wherever, we are all so many peas in the same pod. (more…)
So, Christmas was awesome. But here I will kvetch about the return trip.
I got a good deal on Southwest Airlines for a one-way flight. Unfortunately, Southwest doesn’t fly to San Francisco, so I booked for San Jose. When I got to the airport, I tried the automated check-in thingy: credit card … okay … flight number? Gee, well, I have that … okay … confirmation code?
Look, silly computer, if you know my name and my flight number, what need have you of a string of random digits? (more…)